Shauna Reid is an Australian living in Scotland. Since 2001 she’s been blogging her successful quest to lose 175lbs! Her memoir “The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl” will be published by Harper Collins in December 2008.
The days are getting short and the nights grow cold – October is here! I’m already thinking ahead to my exercise plans for winter. When daylight saving ends I’ll find it hard to motivate myself to get out from under the comforter – let alone get my butt to the gym. The key is to make sure my exercise is:
2) appealing, and
3) easy as possible
… so there’s a chance I’ll actually do it, instead of grumbling into a mug of hot chocolate!
Here are some strategies I’ve found helpful.
It’s easy to miss out on daylight altogether if you arrive and leave work in the dark. So I like escape from my desk and go for a lunchtime stroll. Even a brisk ten minutes gives me a vital dose of Vitamin D and does wonders for my mood!
In cold weather the mental effort of exercise can feel even more enormous than the physical, so classes are an ideal solution. Just rock up to Spinning, yoga or kickboxing class and let the cheerful instructor boss you around for an hour. You can leave your brain at home and your exercise will be done before you know it.
Gym cardio is a sensible option when the pavements are icy or poorly lit. But gym cardio also can be boring! I use MP3 workouts to spice things up, my favorite being Cardio Coach (cardiocoach.com). Suitable for any piece of cardio equipment, Coach Sean O’Malley tells you exactly what to do in his rather sexy voice in a fun and energizing session. Podfitness.com and iTrain.com also have a great range of workouts.
If it’s too miserable to trek to the gym, you can work out in the privacy of your pajamas. My Home Gym consists of a scrap of floor space in our bedroom measuring 3 by 10 feet and the following affordable bits and pieces:
• Workout DVDs – Just slip a disc into the computer and you’re ready to sweat. Try Cathe Friedrich (cathe.com), Amy Bento (nrgfitness.net) or discover other instructors at VideoFitness.com. On my laziest days I love Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred – each workout is just 20 minutes. I can commit to that!
• Reebok step – a bench for weights, to stand on for calf raises, or tremble on for tricep dips. These are reasonably priced and slide neatly under the bed when not in use.
• Assorted dumbbells –I started with a small set of 3, 5 and 8 pounds and have gradually built up a collection by Googling “cheap dumbbells”. You can often find factory seconds that are perfectly good except for a few small scratches.
• Resistance bands – There are dozens of exercises you can do with these inexpensive rubber babies. Add some body weight moves like push-ups, squats and lunges and you’re on your way to creating a total body workout that’s ideal if you don’t have much space or cash.
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